Storm Ending by Jean Toomer | Poets.org

  • Sat Sep 21st, 2013 6:59pm
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Storm Ending

by Jean Toomer

Thunder blossoms gorgeously above our heads,

Great, hollow, bell-like flowers,

Rumbling in the wind,

Stretching clappers to strike our ears . . .

Full-lipped flowers

Bitten by the sun

Bleeding rain

Dripping rain like golden honey–

And the sweet earth flying from the thunder.

About This Poem

As a young adult, Toomer actively participated in a literary society and was acquainted with such prominent figures as the critic Kenneth Burke, the photographer Alfred Steiglitz, and the poet Hart Crane. Around the same time, Toomer became interested in Unitism, a religion founded by the Armenian George Ivanovich Gurdjieff. The doctrine taught unity, transcendence, and mastery of self through yoga: all of which appealed to Toomer, a light-skinned black man preoccupied with establishing an identity in a society of rigid race distinctions.